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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7043, 2022 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890246

ABSTRACT

Access to fast and reliable nucleic acid testing continues to play a key role in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the context of increased vaccine break-through risks due to new variants. We report a rapid, low-cost (~ 2 USD), simple-to-use nucleic acid test kit for self-administered at-home testing without lab instrumentation. The entire sample-to-answer workflow takes < 60 min, including noninvasive sample collection, one-step RNA preparation, reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) in a thermos, and direct visual inspection of a colorimetric test result. To facilitate long-term storage without cold-chain, a fast one-pot lyophilization protocol was developed to preserve all required biochemical reagents of the colorimetric RT-LAMP test in a single microtube. Notably, the lyophilized RT-LAMP assay demonstrated reduced false positives as well as enhanced tolerance to a wider range of incubation temperatures compared to solution-based RT-LAMP reactions. We validated our RT-LAMP assay using simulated infected samples, and detected a panel of SARS-CoV-2 variants with successful detection of all variants that were available to us at the time. With a simple change of the primer set, our lyophilized RT-LAMP home test can be easily adapted as a low-cost surveillance platform for other pathogens and infectious diseases of global public health importance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , COVID-19/diagnosis , Colorimetry/methods , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329974

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is notable for its extremely high level of viral replication in respiratory epithelial cells, relative to other cell types. This may partially explain the high transmissibility and rapid global dissemination observed during the COVID–19 pandemic. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycle threshold ( Ct ) number has been widely used as a proxy for viral load based on the inverse relationship between Ct number and amplifiable genome copies present in a sample. We examined two PCR platforms (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2019 -nCoV Real-time RT-PCR , Integrated DNA Technologies;and TaqPath COVID-19 multi-plex combination kit, ThermoFisher Scientific) for their performance characteristics and Ct distribution patterns based on results generated from 208,947 clinical samples obtained between October 2020 and September 2021. From 14,231 positive tests, Ct values ranged from 8 to 39 and displayed a pronounced bimodal distribution. The bimodal distribution persisted when stratified by gender, age, and time period of sample collection during which different viral variants circulated. This finding may be a result of heterogeneity in disease progression or host response to infection irrespective of age, gender, or viral variants. Quantification of respiratory mucosal viral load may provide additional insight into transmission and clinical indicators helpful for infection control.

3.
J Immunol ; 208(6): 1500-1508, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715878

ABSTRACT

Oral fluids offer a noninvasive sampling method for the detection of Abs. Quantification of IgA and IgG Abs in saliva allows studies of the mucosal and systemic immune response after natural infection or vaccination. We developed and validated an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to detect and quantify salivary IgA and IgG Abs against the prefusion-stabilized form of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein expressed in suspension-adapted HEK-293 cells. Normalization against total Ab isotype was performed to account for specimen differences, such as collection time and sample volume. Saliva samples collected from 187 SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases enrolled in 2 cohorts and 373 prepandemic saliva samples were tested. The sensitivity of both EIAs was high (IgA, 95.5%; IgG, 89.7%) without compromising specificity (IgA, 99%; IgG, 97%). No cross-reactivity with endemic coronaviruses was observed. The limit of detection for SARS-CoV-2 salivary IgA and IgG assays were 1.98 ng/ml and 0.30 ng/ml, respectively. Salivary IgA and IgG Abs were detected earlier in patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms than in severe cases. However, severe cases showed higher salivary Ab titers than those with a mild infection. Salivary IgA titers quickly decreased after 6 wk in mild cases but remained detectable until at least week 10 in severe cases. Salivary IgG titers remained high for all patients, regardless of disease severity. In conclusion, EIAs for both IgA and IgG had high specificity and sensitivity for the confirmation of current or recent SARS-CoV-2 infections and evaluation of the IgA and IgG immune response.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Immunoglobulin A/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Saliva/metabolism , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Asymptomatic Diseases , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Progression , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Reference Standards , Sensitivity and Specificity , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
4.
J Infect Dis ; 225(6): 947-956, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704045

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has called for substantial investigations into the capacity of the human immune system to protect against reinfection and keep pace with the evolution of SARS-CoV-2. We evaluated the magnitude and durability of the SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses against parental WA-1 SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and a representative variant of concern (VoC) RBD using antibodies from 2 antibody compartments: long-lived plasma cell-derived plasma antibodies and antibodies encoded by SARS-CoV-2-specific memory B cells (MBCs). Thirty-five participants naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated; although only 25 of 35 participants had VoC RBD-reactive plasma antibodies, 34 of 35 (97%) participants had VoC RBD-reactive MBC-derived antibodies. Our finding that 97% of previously infected individuals have MBCs specific for variant RBDs provides reason for optimism regarding the capacity of vaccination, prior infection, and/or both, to elicit immunity with the capacity to limit disease severity and transmission of VoCs as they arise and circulate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Humans , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
5.
Case Rep Hematol ; 2022: 6831640, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666501

ABSTRACT

Individuals with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have significant immune disfunction, often further disrupted by treatment. While currently available COVID-19 vaccinations are highly effective in immunocompetent individuals, they are often poorly immunogenic in CLL patients. It is important to understand the role a heterologous boost would have in patients who did not respond to the initial two-dose mRNA vaccine series. SARS-CoV-2 specific immune responses, including antibodies and memory B-cells, CD4 and CD8 T-cells were assessed prior to vaccination, as well as postinitial vaccination series and post-third dose in two subjects. One subject seroconverted, had RBD-specific memory B-cells and spike-specific CD4 T-cells while the other did not. Both subjects had a spike-specific CD8 T-cell response after the original mRNA vaccination series that was further boosted after the third dose or remained stable. The results of this study, however small, are especially promising to CLL individuals who did not seroconvert following the initial mRNA vaccination series.

6.
Sci Immunol ; 7(68): eabn8014, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651046

ABSTRACT

Current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines effectively reduce overall morbidity and mortality and are vitally important to controlling the pandemic. Individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 have enhanced immune responses after vaccination (hybrid immunity) compared with their naïve-vaccinated peers; however, the effects of post-vaccination breakthrough infections on humoral immune response remain to be determined. Here, we measure neutralizing antibody responses from 104 vaccinated individuals, including those with breakthrough infections, hybrid immunity, and no infection history. We find that human immune sera after breakthrough infection and vaccination after natural infection broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2) variants to a similar degree. Although age negatively correlates with antibody response after vaccination alone, no correlation with age was found in breakthrough or hybrid immune groups. Together, our data suggest that the additional antigen exposure from natural infection substantially boosts the quantity, quality, and breadth of humoral immune response regardless of whether it occurs before or after vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Adult , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Middle Aged , Phagocytosis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , THP-1 Cells , Time Factors , Vero Cells , Viral Load
8.
J Infect Dis ; 225(6): 947-956, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550554

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has called for substantial investigations into the capacity of the human immune system to protect against reinfection and keep pace with the evolution of SARS-CoV-2. We evaluated the magnitude and durability of the SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses against parental WA-1 SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and a representative variant of concern (VoC) RBD using antibodies from 2 antibody compartments: long-lived plasma cell-derived plasma antibodies and antibodies encoded by SARS-CoV-2-specific memory B cells (MBCs). Thirty-five participants naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated; although only 25 of 35 participants had VoC RBD-reactive plasma antibodies, 34 of 35 (97%) participants had VoC RBD-reactive MBC-derived antibodies. Our finding that 97% of previously infected individuals have MBCs specific for variant RBDs provides reason for optimism regarding the capacity of vaccination, prior infection, and/or both, to elicit immunity with the capacity to limit disease severity and transmission of VoCs as they arise and circulate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Humans , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5135, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376198

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 and its variants continue to infect hundreds of thousands every day despite the rollout of effective vaccines. Therefore, it is essential to understand the levels of protection that these vaccines provide in the face of emerging variants. Here, we report two demographically balanced cohorts of BNT162b2 vaccine recipients and COVID-19 patients, from which we evaluate neutralizing antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 as well as the B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) variants. We show that both B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 are less well neutralized by serum from vaccinated individuals, and that B.1.351, but not B.1.1.7, is less well neutralized by convalescent serum. We also find that the levels of variant-specific anti-spike antibodies are proportional to neutralizing activities. Together, our results demonstrate the escape of the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants from neutralization by serum antibodies, which may lead to reduced protection from re-infection or increased risk of vaccine breakthrough.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
12.
Indoor Air ; 31(6): 1826-1832, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288302

ABSTRACT

Evidence continues to grow supporting the aerosol transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To assess the potential role of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in airborne viral transmission, this study sought to determine the viral presence, if any, on air handling units in a healthcare setting where coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients were being treated. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in approximately 25% of samples taken from ten different locations in multiple air handlers. While samples were not evaluated for viral infectivity, the presence of viral RNA in air handlers raises the possibility that viral particles can enter and travel within the air handling system of a hospital, from room return air through high-efficiency MERV-15 filters and into supply air ducts. Although no known transmission events were determined to be associated with these specimens, the findings suggest the potential for HVAC systems to facilitate transfer of virions to locations remote from areas where infected persons reside. These results are important within and outside of healthcare settings and may present necessary guidance for building operators of facilities that are not equipped with high-efficiency filtration. Furthermore, the identification of SARS-CoV-2 in HVAC components indicates the potential utility as an indoor environmental surveillance location.


Subject(s)
Air Conditioning , Air Pollution, Indoor , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Air Microbiology , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Heating , Hospitals , Humans , Ventilation
13.
J Immunol ; 206(11): 2596-2604, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224288

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health emergency, and the development of a successful vaccine will ultimately be required to prevent the continued spread and seasonal recurrence of this disease within the human population. However, very little is known about either the quality of the adaptive immune response or the viral Ag targets that will be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection. In this study, we generated recombinant Vaccinia virus expressing the full-length spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 (VacV-S) to evaluate the cellular and humoral immune response mounted against this viral Ag in mice. Both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein underwent robust expansion, contraction, and persisted for at least 40 d following a single immunization with VacV-S. Vaccination also caused the rapid emergence of spike-specific IgG-neutralizing Abs. Interestingly, both the cellular and humoral immune responses strongly targeted the S1 domain of spike following VacV-S immunization. Notably, immunization with VacV-expressing spike conjugated to the MHC class II invariant chain, a strategy previously reported by us and others to enhance the immunogenicity of antigenic peptides, did not promote stronger spike-specific T cell or Ab responses in vivo. Overall, these findings demonstrate that an immunization approach using VacV or attenuated versions of VacV expressing the native, full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein could be used for further vaccine development to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccinia virus , Animals , Cell Line , Immunization , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Vaccinia virus/immunology
14.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(3): ofab061, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069302

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serological confirmation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for understanding the dynamics of the pandemic and determining seroprevalence rates within afflicted communities. Common challenges with SARS-CoV-2 serological assays include poor analytical specificity and sensitivity and lack of a serological standard for quantitative assessment of antibody titers. METHODS: To overcome these obstacles, we developed a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on an optimized 2-dimensional screening assay that utilizes SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) of spike protein and SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 subunit. RESULTS: A total of 4 SARS-CoV-2-reactive monoclonal antibodies were evaluated for use as serum standards for calibrating assays performed on different days or by different laboratories. This approach provided quantitative analysis of hospitalized reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 cases that in some cases reached >100 µg/mL. The assay demonstrated 72% sensitivity based on time points ranging from 2 to 52 days post-symptom onset, with 100% sensitivity at time points measured ≥13 days post-symptom onset and 100% specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Using these optimized reagents and serological standards, we believe this approach will be useful for sensitive and specific determination of seroconversion rates and quantitatively measuring the durability of antiviral antibody responses following SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination.

15.
Cell Rep ; 34(7): 108737, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1046536

ABSTRACT

In the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there remain unanswered questions regarding the nature and significance of the humoral immune response toward other coronavirus infections. Here, we investigate the cross-reactivity of antibodies raised against the first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) for their reactivity toward SARS-CoV-2. We extensively characterize a selection of 10 antibodies covering all of the SARS-CoV structural proteins: spike, membrane, nucleocapsid, and envelope. Although nearly all of the examined SARS-CoV antibodies display some level of reactivity to SARS-CoV-2, we find only partial cross-neutralization for the spike antibodies. The implications of our work are two-fold. First, we establish a set of antibodies with known reactivity to both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, which will allow further study of both viruses. Second, we provide empirical evidence of the high propensity for antibody cross-reactivity between distinct strains of human coronaviruses, which is critical information for designing diagnostic and vaccine strategies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Pandemics , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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